Thoughtful observers of life often comment on the richness of the English language, its huge polyglot vocabulary, its precision, it sinewy expressiveness. It is doubtless politically incorrect to say so, but English has also shown itself to be a conspicuous ally of political liberty. I have commented on this in the past, noting that ‘there seems to be some deep connection between the English language and that most uncommon virtue, common sense’. Speakers of English can be plenty extravagant, it may go without saying, but there is something about English — exactly why, I do not know — that acts to tether thought to the empirical world.
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